He’s exactly as you hoped, playful, devoted, lively and clever. Plus he’s a Dachshund, so he’s the cutest little shape. However, there is one thing he’s not so good at: going for walks. He needs to be taken out each day but you almost have to drag him along the ground.
This might have made you giggle to start with, but now you’re beginning to get a bit worried. If he won’t get any exercise he may start piling on the weight, and that's no good for his little frame. Not to mention, if he doesn’t use his legs enough, then his muscles and joints will grow weak and he may develop expensive health problems later on in life.
Thankfully, training a Dachshund to enjoy walking is fairly straightforward. The first thing you need to do is get him comfortable in a collar and leash. You then need to gradually build up his confidence in the house before venturing out into the world. A key part of the training will also be finding the right motivator. Fortunately, Dachshunds have a weak spot for anything they can eat. So the right mouth-watering food should soon get him bounding around.
If he’s a puppy, then your Dachshund should be highly receptive. This means you could see results quickly. However, if he’s older and this habit has developed over a number of years, then you may need up to a month before you see consistent results. Succeed and you’ll have the ideal canine companion for weekend strolls. You’ll also have a quick and easy way to exercise him each day.
Before you can start training, you will need to gather a few bits. Stock up on tasty treats and have handy a short training leash, a favorite toy, some string, and a clicker if you typically use one to train.
Set aside half an hour each day for training. For the most part, you will be able to conduct training when out on your daily walk.
Once you have all that, just bring patience and some walking shoes, then work can begin!
She has suddenly become very fearful of walks, even routes she's done previously. She stops, lies down, shakes and won't budge. I don't know how to proceed, I want to help her build her confidence.
She barks at everything, which is fine that's what dachshunds do! But there is nothing we can do to calm her down or get her to listen to us. We don't mind the barking, we just want her to be able to listen to us when we ask her to calm down.
Hello Lauren, For the barking, check out the article linked below and both the Quiet method and the Desensitize method. https://wagwalking.com/training/train-a-shih-tzu-puppy-to-not-bark Also, check out the video series on barking for example of desensitizing to specific bark triggers. There are various videos addressing different things. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAA4pob0Wl0W2agO7frSjia1hG85IyA6a For the fear, I would consider hiring an animal behaviorist or speaking with your vet. There may be something causing pain like a new harness chaffing, an injury, a frozen, salted, or hot sidewalk, paw injury, or joint issue. See if pup seems in pain when they walk places like a park instead also. If it's not pain, then there may be something in the environment pup finds scary, like noises from a new house being built or worked on, a certain dog in the area, a predatory animals' scent like a coyote in the area, a lawn decoration that seems weird too pup. Look for anything new, and pay attention to when pup's body language is the most tense and what they fixate on when walking. If you can find the source of the fear, then you can work on gradually desensitizing pup to it by going somewhere further from it, working on obedience commands and games to get pup to relax, then gradually transitioning closer to the source of discomfort as pup is able to relax more and ease into it without realizing it - until they are back to normal in that area. If you can't seem to make progress on your own, I recommend hiring someone who specializes in counter conditioning like a behaviorist. Best of luck training, Caitlin Crittenden
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